Thursday 20 September 2018

Brogan's career hangs by thread after surgery

 

Bernard Brogan. Photo: Sportsfile
Bernard Brogan. Photo: Sportsfile

Michael Verney and Martin Breheny

Bernard Brogan may have played his last competitive game in a Dublin jersey after the five-time All-Ireland winner underwent surgery for a cruciate knee ligament injury.

It had been mooted that the 2010 Footballer of the Year may avoid surgery with the hopes of returning later this year but going under the knife ends the 33-year-old's season with the Dubs and his hopes of being part of their chase for a fourth consecutive Sam Maguire.

With his 2018 season over, Brogan will face many challenges should he wish to resurrect his Dublin career as the prolific St Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh attacker will be nearly 35 upon his possible return next year.

Reduced to the role of impact substitute for the past two championship seasons, Brogan will face increasing competition for places if he does get back into the Dublin squad with the emergence of Con O'Callaghan, Niall Scully, Colm Basquel and Brian Howard in recent years.

The four-time All-Star sustained ACL damage - the second cruciate injury of his career - at Dublin training ahead of their last Division 1 clash against Donegal and without any major setbacks, he could be fit for the start of next year's league, but a return is deemed unlikely.

Dublin boss Jim Gavin confirmed Brogan's ACL rupture and surgery via the Dublin GAA website yesterday, outlining that it was "very frustrating for Bernard" as he has played "a vital role" in their recent success.

Dublin make the trip to Castlebar tonight (7.0) in a repeat of last year's All-Ireland SFC final with Mayo boss Stephen Rochford making a host of changes as they bid to change their fortunes against the all-conquering Dubs.

Successive defeats have left Mayo facing the risk of relegation and goalkeeper Rob Hennelly, defender David Drake, 2017 Footballer of the Year Andy Moran and Adam Gallagher - who impressed in attack in NUI Galway's run to the Sigerson Cup final - come into the side.

Meanwhile, Páraic Duffy last night told counties who complain about club fixture problems that they should look at their own structures rather than blame Croke Park. In his last address to Congress as director-general, Duffy said that it was easy off to off-load responsibility but it would never solve the problem.

"Central Council has done as much as it can - now it's up to county boards to run their own affairs in a manner that serves them best. Finding the best structure for each county can't be done by Croke Park," Duffy said.

"It's up to counties to look at their own situations, look at their club championship structures and all that go with them and then work out how to make it all work."

He also had a blunt message for counties that fail to run a streamlined club fixture programme because of pressure from inter-county managers who demand first call on inter-county players for much of the year.

"It's very simple. County committees appoint managers so it's your responsibility to ensure that you retain control.

"If a manager doesn't care about clubs and club players, don't appoint him. There's no point complaining about it afterwards, You run your counties - it's your responsibility," he said.

As Duffy exits, former Kilkenny chairman and secretary Ned Quinn is going in the opposite direction with the Mooncoin clubman set to be appointed as the chair of the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) for the next three years.

Elsewhere, Kilkenny boss Brian Cody and his Tipperary counterpart Michael Ryan have made significant changes to their sides for tomorrow's Nowlan Park clash with both managers down a host of regulars due to today's Fitzgibbon Cup final.

Irish Independent

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